Sri Guru Carana Padma

He uttered this verse and said, “He is a real sannyasi,” then gave him the sannyasa mantra and danda. Shortly thereafter, many sannyasis and GBC members started complaining, “How has he taken sannyasa? He is a new man!” Then Srila Prabhupada told them, “He is a devotee from birth - you are new men!"

Instructions of Srila Prabhupada

At Srila Gour Govinda Swami's first intiation in Mayapur, 1974, Srila Prabhupada told him, “You will take me to Orissa!” Orissa is the Holy place where Lord Caitanya performed His most confidential pastimes. Bhubaneswar is also the gateway to Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. Under Srila Prabhupada's order, Srila Gour Govinda Swami single-handedly underwent extreme hardships to begin a magnificent temple in Bhubaneswar.

The hut that was personally built by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja for Srila Prabhupada at ISKCON Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Bhubaneswar, India.

In February, 1977, the year of Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance pastime, Srila Prabhupada came to stay in Bhubaneswar to lay the corner foundation stone of the new temple. At his own insistence, Srila Prabhupada refused to stay in a government guesthouse and spent seventeen days in the mud hut personally built for him by Srila Gour Govinda Swami, on the newly donated land in Bhubaneswar. It was an out of the way place during that time with no facility except electricity brought to the hut just for Srila Prabhupada's dictaphone machine.

Srila Prabhupada was giving lecture everyday and meeting so many people. He insisted, whoever comes must be fed prasadam. "I have no money and thousands of people were coming everyday, how can it be done? Miraculously, all were fed. So much cooking was there. Where the money came from I couldn't think of. Every morning devotees were coming, "Gour Govinda give money! This purchase will be there!" "Alright, wait, wait, let me go out and see somewhere for donation. So many miricles, all miracles. How it was done I cannot think of!"

Srila Prabhupada in Bhubaneswar, 1977
Prabhupada’s mercy is wonderful! He told me in Mayapur when he gave me first initiation, that very day, he took me into his room and said, “Gour Govinda, you will take me to Orissa!” I will take him? I’ll carry him? (laughter) Because Prabhupada was not coming here. The western disciples are not allowed to come into the Puri temple, so he had developed sulkiness. One person must be there who will break the sulkiness so he caught me. I said, “Yes Prabhupada, you are so merciful now you want to go to Orissa.” Yes, I thought of that thing ‘he wants to come. Yes, so he will come. What can I do? I am nothing, I have no strength, no qualifications, nothing. O, it is his mercy only that will act. We are just an instrument in his hands. You just use us, nothing else.”
Above: Srila Prabhupada in Bhubaneswar, giving class during his 17 day visit. Left: The hut that was personally built by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja for Srila Prabhupada at the entrance to ISKCON Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Bhubaneswar, India.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami recalls, "Srila Prabhupada would go out everyday for morning walks and we would go with him. So many talks come up. Some devotees said, "No, we won't construct temple here, Prabhupada, nobody will come here! It is out of the way place; a jungle. Why shall we construct a temple and spend money here; we will do it in Puri." Prabhupada insisted, "No, we want to construct a temple here!." Then he called me and drove everybody out, because every word of Prabhupada was being taped, a tape recorder was always on! In a whispering voice he said, "Gour Govinda they are objecting to build the temple here, they want it in Puri, but I said, No! I will do it here. This shall be one of the best ISKCON temples in the world, yes! You have to stay here and do this thing, yes! You should have your own men and train them. You should accept disciples, otherwise how can you manage." I said, "I don't want to be head, I went to be tail." Srila Prabhupada replied, "I want!" "Alright!" I know that to become head means so many beatings will come. Prabhupada said, "I want!" When you want, I should accept all these head beatings. Alright very good. It is pleasing to my Guru."

By the order of Srila Prabhupada, his intimate, private instructions during those seventeen days were kept confidential. The three major instructions were 1. To develop the Bhubaneswar land and build a temple like Jagannatha Puri temple 2. Translate Srila Prabhupada's books into Oriya 3. To make his own disciples to assist him with spreading the Krsna Consciousness movement.

Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja

Preaching: His Life and Soul

After Srila Prabhupada's apparent disappearance in 1977 Srila Gour Govinda Swami returned to Bhubaneswar with more intensity to fulfill the order of Srila Prabhupada. There were extreme, austere conditions in Bhubaneswar but he remained determined, and went through many hardships to fulfill the mission and instructions of Srila Prabhupada.

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